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Thread: Filters

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    Member chubb's Avatar
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    Filters

    Hi all, I just wanted to know what are the best type of filters for shooting water & the sky? I see photo's where the water looks really blue but mine seem a little dark even on a bright day & the sky never looks as blue as it should. Or is this something that can be done afterwards in photoshop? ANy help would be great thanks.

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    If you have'nt already got one , Try a Circular Polarizer to bring out colours in the water and sky , Also with the water it cuts down the glare and reflections as well , If your talking about general landscapes , There are the Neutral Density graduation filters to get an even exposure over the whole scene
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    THere's the CPL and GND.
    But sadly many of those photos are PS faked.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    But sadly many of those photos are PS faked.
    Sorry but this statement is useless. Whether a filter is applied to the front of the lens or during processing, who cares, as long as the end result is what the photographer wanted to acheive?

    As stated you a Polariser is a good investment if you are into landscape photography as it has many benefits. It can increase contrast, saturate colours (particularly blues and greens), it can reduce reflections, and it also reduces the light entering the lens, so can allow for a slower shutter speed. Neutral Density and Graduated Neutral Density filters are also a good bit of kit of for the avid landscaper.

    Now onto editing filters. Nik Software's Color Efex Pro has a good range of filters that include a very well thought out ND Grad, that offers a very good result. It also includes a polarising filter which is one of the best I have seen to replicate the effect of a real Polariser.

    Whichever you choose, physical filters or software based ones, learn to use them and make them work for you, and your photos will benefit from them. Doing it in-camera or in post-processing, there is no right or wrong way, it is what suits you best.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Circular Polarizer - CPL will be a good starting point since it also doubles as a 1-2stop ND filter, however, this is also the most expensive type of filter (one of I should say).

    If you are considering GND filters - then you will also need to do some research into which drop in filter kit you would like to invest in.

    Mixed into the equation will be how many lenses you have, what filter size are they and how wide do they go.
    -Chiu

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    Sorry to hijack, but it's on the same topic. I've got a twin lens kit with 58mm filter size and a 10-22mm UWA with 77mm filter size. I had some 58mm CPL and ND filters which I sold to a friend who needed them ASAP for a visit OS, while I had time to get some new ones. Since then I acquired the 10-22 and figured I'd try get filters to suit both, going 77mm CPL and ND with a step down ring. I also have plans on getting cokin style GND filters. As with CPL on wide angle lenses I've seen you can get a bit of a gradient, would it be better to get the CPL and ND for the 58mm size and just cokin ND/GND for the 77mm? I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' kind of question, just wanting to learn from other people's experiences.
    Canon 450D, 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 10-22mm

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The gradient is caused by not having the polariser turned into the correct position, or taking a photo in the wrong position to the sun. Polarisers have a rotating ring that lets you adjust the intensity of the effect, it is a matter of getting that right to ensure an even colouring across your photo. You can do this looking through the viewfinder whilst rotating the filter into 'position'. Another factor is angle to the sun. Polarisers work best when used at a 90 degree angle to the sun, rather than facing into, or directly away from the sun.

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Just be careful of polarisers with ultra-wide lenses. The sky will turn out uneven as light is coming from different angles as you move across the frame.

    A set of hard-edged graduated neutral density filters work well if you have a fairly distinct horizon and a soft-graduated neutral density filter if the horizon is irregular. The only way to go with graduated neutral density filters is with a "square" filter holder so you can move the graduation up and down to match the location of your horizon. Cokin, Lee, Singh Ray and HiTech make these types of filter but some can be quite expensive.
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    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban mandab99's Avatar
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    Great thread!...it just so happens I was researching filters so I could complete a assignment and have learned some more tip bits in this thread! THanks!

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    Thanks for the help guys, i will do a bit more research & go buy some.

  11. #11
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Circular polarizers are excellent for making the sky blue, bringing out the white in clouds, darkening the water by reducing reflections It works best at 90 degrees to the sun, so, with the sun at right angles to where you are shooting. The other benefit is that it brings out colours of most things especially reducing the reflections on leaves etc. A very valuable filter in many circumstances. It can be an issue when using a very wide angle lens as it can make the sky very dark at one side and light at the other closer to where the sun is shining from. This is caused by the fact that the polarisers effect is reduced as you shoot at a lesser angle than 90 degrees to the suns rays, so in these situations caution needs to be taken. Do not discount the advantage of a polariser on telephoto lenses as they can play in important part in reducing haze and increasing contrast which can be an issue with telephotos when shooting long distances over a lanscape.

    The other filters to get are Neutral Density Graduated filters. These are very useful in reducing the brightness of the sky, especially on overcast days where the clouds make the sky almost white, and in early morning or late afternoon when the sky is bright near a setting or rising sun and the ground is very dark.

    Here you can see the effect of the polariser across the sky on a very wide angle lens:



    A better example of a very wide angle lens used successfully with a polariser:



    Here is a better application of a polariser where it has saturated the colours of the overall image and brought out the contrast with the clouds:



    Here is the use of a Neutral Density graduated filter. If I hadn't used an ND grad, the foreground would have been way too dark:



    ND grad used here as well. Without the ND grad, the clouds and sky would have been washed out and may have either blown the highlights or made the forground too dark.



    An example of an ND grad used in late afternoon light. If I hadn't used it here, the oreground would have been almost black and the lighthouse would have been blown way out and unrecoverable:


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    Lance. Thanks for the short course in ND use. Good everyday examples.
    NeilG

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